Wolf Administration Applauds 10 Schools for Environmental Sustainability Efforts

Harrisburg, Pa — The Pennsylvania Departments of Education, Environmental Protection and Conservation and Natural Resources honored 10 US Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) across Pennsylvania in recognition of their efforts in environmental sustainability.

“Pennsylvania’s Green Ribbon Schools are demonstrating their commitment to promoting environmental awareness in the classroom and teaching students and communities how we are all responsible for protecting our environment,” said Acting Secretary of Education Eric Hagarty.

“This mission is interconnected, and we applaud these schools for helping students actively engage in environmental sustainability practices and raising awareness of the world around them.”

The Spring-Ford Area School District and Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania were recognized as 2022 ED-GRS schools, and officials also honored the 2019, 2020 and 2021 honorees during the first in-person ceremony since the pandemic.

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The schools have also received recognition from the Commonwealth’s Pathways to Green Schools programme.

“These schools are teaching the next generation to be good stewards of the environment and to protect our natural resources and public health,” said DEP acting secretary Ramez Ziadeh. “Saving energy, reducing waste and saving money are all interconnected and these schools are setting an example for others to follow.”

Since 2011, the ED-GRS program has nominated schools, districts and colleges nationwide for their commitment to reducing environmental impacts and costs, improving the health and well-being of schools, and providing environmental education to students.

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“Our goal is to ensure that all Pennsylvania schools are healthy and environmentally friendly places to learn and work,” said DCNR Assistant Administrative Secretary Michael Walsh. “Connecting with nature and spending time outdoors is an important part of the educational experience and necessary for all children. We congratulate the schools honored today and encourage educators and students across the Commonwealth to chart a path towards a more sustainable future.”

The award winners show progress in the following areas: reducing environmental impacts such as waste, water, greenhouse gases and transport; Improving health and well-being, taking into account air quality, lighting, thermal comfort, school nutrition and outdoor physical activity; and providing effective environmental and sustainability education that emphasizes hands-on, real-world learning, civic engagement, STEM connections, and green career preparation.

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The 2022-23 application for both the ED-GRS program and the PA Pathways to Green School nomination cycle opens today.

All applications, along with all supporting materials, must be submitted online to the Pennsylvania Department of Education by 6:00 p.m. Thursday, January 12, 2023.

For more information on US Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, visit the US Department of Education website.

Wesley Robinson, DCNR
Neil Shader, DEP

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